HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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control. Instead of looking at a situation with regret, look at it in a state of what you learned and how you can be better next time. If you continue to work on your positive mindset, your negative stress mindset won’t have room to join you. So when you find yourself going down a negative path, redirect yourself to think positive thoughts.

HOW TO CALM DOWN AND FINALLY PUT AN END TO STRESS

system and can make you feel agitated and tired after eating.


Meditation is the next key to managing your stress and emotions. Recent studies suggest meditation decreases stress levels while increasing happiness and compassion. I know many people believe meditation is “hippy,” but it can do amazing things to your body and mind when you’re stressed. Tangible health benefits of meditation include lower inflammation, decreased pain and improved immunity. Meditation puts the nervous system into a calm, relaxed state by slowing everything in your body down. It can be as simple as deep-breathing exercises, yoga or just taking a second to close your eyes. Not sure if meditation is right for you? Just give yourself five minutes to see how it feels. It will most likely feel amazing.


Lastly, don’t neglect YOU. Give yourself some love. Most of the time when we’re in a stressful state, we focus on the negative and what ifs or could bes. If your brain is constantly focused on the negative, you can’t focus on the positive and vise versa. When stressed, if we turn our mindset around and start thinking more positively, the stress and negative thoughts will start to disappear. You have this

CHRISTINE KENNEY




Certified Health Coach Christine Kenney can be reached at christinekenneyhealthcoach@gmail.com.

When you think of stress and anxiety, what comes to mind? Adding on pounds, a racing mind, bad complexion, upset stomach and more. But how often do you think about where the stress is actually coming from? I’m not talking about your long to-do list. The key to gaining a calm mind and body actually lies in your central nervous system. Once you relax, you automatically put your mind and body at ease. What you really need to know is how to manage your stress — meaning how to calm your nervous system to stop stress from even starting.


When someone asks you how many hours of sleep you get, is your first instinct to lie? Many of us want to say seven or eight hours, but often that isn’t the truth. Women need at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night to reset and recharge the nervous system. Insufficient sleep – fewer than six hours a night – is detrimental to health. Not only do we feel fatigued and unfocused but our metabolism suffers and may cause us to store fat rather than burning it. Can you power down an hour earlier or wake up an hour later? Getting more sleep can change your health dramatically.


Next, look at what you’re putting into your body. The food you eat greatly affects how your body functions and your emotions. One additive ingredient that can be hindering your nervous system is monosodium glutamate. MSG, found in processed foods, overexcites the